for this game

Gordon shines early, Deng late as Bulls overwhelm Heat

Apr 25, 2007 - 4:32 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- It was Ben Gordon early and Luol Deng late for the Chicago Bulls.

Gordon scored all 27 of his points in the first three quarters and Deng added 14 of his 26 in the final period as the Bulls rolled to a 107-89 victory over the Heat on Tuesday to take a two-games-to-none lead in their first-round series.

Kirk Hinrich collected 14 points and eight assists for the Bulls, who continued to dictate the pace and maximize their talented perimeter scorers. Chicago shot 55 percent from the field (43-of-78), including 11-of-17 on 3-pointers.

"We are much better when we get the ball moving," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We were able to pull away a bit in the third and get a cushion; we had to because we knew they would make a run."

But Chicago knows the defending champion Heat are more than capable of getting right back into the series.

"We know they are a team that can win four in a row," Deng said. "They did it last year in the Finals against a great team (Dallas). We have to continue to play hard."

"We were up 2-0 to Washington two years ago and lost four straight," Skiles said. "Overconfidence is not a problem for us."

In Saturday's series opener, Deng collected 33 points and eight rebounds and Gordon added 24 and a playoff career-high 11 assists for Chicago in a 96-91 victory. In Game Two, they combined to shoot 22-of-38, including 5-of-8 from the arc.

Gordon dominated the first three quarters with his smooth jump shot, staking the Bulls to an 85-71 lead entering the fourth period. But after Miami scored on its first six possessions of the final period, Deng shot 6-of-7 in the final 12 minutes to secure the victory.

"Luol settled down in the fourth quarter and hit some huge shots for us," Skiles said. "He was aggressive and did not let his early 0-of-6 shooting throw him off."

Ben Wallace, who grabbed 14 rebounds in his first playoff game with the Bulls on Saturday, snatched just six in 38 minutes. He suffered a mild ankle sprain in the game's final minutes but admitted that it was nothing serious.

Heat superstars Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal combined for 38 points and 14 turnovers, looking sloppy and out of sync. As a team, Miami was not much better, shooting 47 percent (34-of-73), including 5-of-16 from the arc.

"Our effort is not where it needs to be, it needs to be times two, times three, times 10," O'Neal said. "(The Bulls) are playing a lot harder than we are and they played a perfect game today."

"(Chicago) just came out on fire," Wade said. "In the second half, they made everything they put up, they just came out focused and took the game over. We got it down to seven and then they just continued to make their shots."

Game Three will be in Miami on Friday, and Wade is glad to be going home.

"They are one of the best home teams in the league, we hoped to steal one here and we didn't," Wade said. "The series doesn't start until somebody takes one on the other team's floor."

Heat coach Pat Riley will not compare this year's squad to the team that erased a 2-0 deficit in last season's Finals against the Mavericks.

"Then we were in playoff condition," Riley said. "We are not there after two games. I think the best thing that happened to the Bulls is that loss to New Jersey (in the season's final game). That kind of (ticked) them off."

    MIAMI 89

    Apr 24 10:29 PM

    MIAMI 71

    Apr 24 9:56 PM

    MIAMI 52

    Apr 24 9:08 PM

    MIAMI 21

    Apr 24 8:36 PM